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List of "J" Movies

J-Men Forever (1979) PG comedy

Like Woody Allenís Whatís Up, Tiger Lily? before it, this film takes old footage 40s and 50s serials and re-dubs the dialogue. The plot involves an evil plan to infiltrate the worldís radio waves with rockíníroll. The film generates a few belly laughs, but it gets a bit old toward the end. Starring: Philip Proctor, Peter Bergman. Directed by: Peter Bergman, Richard Patterson and Philip Proctor. C+

Jabberwocky (1977) PG comedy

This is the only truly dissatisfying film from director Terry Gilliam. His solo-directorial debut is funny in spots, but overall turns out to be a mess. Fortunately, Michael Palin plays the lead role very nicely, as a young man in the Medieval Ages who leaves home to make it big in the city. When he arrives there, he gets mixed up in things; causes a few problems with the locals, becomes a fugitive, the princess of the land falls madly in love with him. This really isnít worth seeing except for the most dedicated Monty Python fan. Starring: Michael Palin, Max Wall, Deborah Fallender, John Le Mesurier, Anette Badland. Directed by: Terry Gilliam. C-

Jack (1996) PG-13 comedy

Robin Williams stars as a 10-year-old who ages four times the normal rate, and therefore appears to be 40. Jack, isolated from the world due to his unusual circumstances, expresses desire to attend the fifth grade with the normal kids. This isnít a very inspirational film nor a particularly funny one, but Williams turns in a very nice and believable performance. Starring: Robin Williams, Diane Lane, Brian Kerwin, Jennifer Lopez, Bill Cosby, Fran Drescher, Adam Zolotin, Todd Bosley, Seth Smith, Mario Yedidia. Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola. B

Jackass: The Movie (2002) R comedy

Goofy star Johnny Knoxville put himself on the map from the same-titled MTV show in which he performs outrageous stunts. This movie is merely 90 minutes more of them. Some of them are actually dangerous (i.e. taunting an alligator, wild skateboarding tricks), others are disgusting (i.e. taking a dump in a hardware store toilet, eating yellow snow) and others are mostly harmless (i.e. pretending to be a senile old man, bothering golfers). This will appeal to you depending on how broke your sense of humor is. Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Chris Pontius, Steve-O, Dave England, Ryan Dunn, Jason "Wee Man" Acuna, Preston Lacy. Directed by: Jeff Tremaine. C-

Jackass: Number Two (2006) R comedy

The running with the bulls sequence at the beginning of this film was brilliant, but the remainder of the stunts are merely hit-or-miss. Mostly misses. The gross-out gags are difficult to watch--even more so than before. Similarly, this film will appeal to you based on how sophisticated you are. If you like this movie, then you have no culture. Not that it matters to you. Needless to say, I won't be eating anytime soon. Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Chis Pontius, Dave England, Ryan Dunn, Jason "Wee Man" Acuna, Preston Lacy, Ephren McGhehey, John Waters, Spike Jonze. Directed by: Jeff Tremaine. C-

Jackie Chanís First Strike (1996) PG-13 martial arts

Yowee! Jackie Chan strikes the screen again in this worthy addition to your Chan entertainment. The plot is inconsequential, but plot isn't the essence of a Chan film; it's the breathtaking martial arts, the non-stop action and the koala underpants. Starring: Jackie Chan, Bill Tung, Jackson Lou, Chen Chun Wu, Jouri Petrov, Grishajeva Nonna. Directed by: Stanley Tong. B-

Jacknife (1989) R drama

Robert De Niro stars in this so-so comedy as an on-edge Vietnam War vet who visits and tries to help his disturbed war buddy (Ed Harris). The script is all right, but it seemed somewhat contrived. However, that hardly matters because the performances are both gripping and genuine! Kathy Baker is also excellent as Harrisís sister. Starring: Robert De Niro, Ed Harris, Kathy Baker, Charles S. Dutton, Loudon Wainwright III, Josh Pais, Tom Rack, Walter Massey, Jordan Lund. Directed by: David Jones. B

Jakob the Liar (1999) PG-13 comedy/drama

Robin Williams plays a man imprisoned in a ghetto by the Nazi forces during World War II. One day, he goes to the Gestapo's office and hears a piece of news on the radio. When he walks back to the ghetto, he shares this news with his friends and somehow rumor got around that he actually owns a radio. Now Jakob reduces himself to making up news stories. It's an uneven semi-comedy that provokes little emotion. Nevertheless, itís watchable and usually enjoyable. Starring: Robin Williams, Hannah Taylor Gordon, Eva Igo, Istvan Balint, Justus Von Dohnanyi, Kathleen Gati, Bob Balaban, Alan Arkin, Michel Jeter, Mark Margolis, Janos Gosztonyi, Liev Schreiber, Armin Mueller-Stahl. Directed by: Peter Kassovitz. C+

Jeeves and Wooster [television series] (1990) NR comedy

This BBC-produced adaptations of P.D. Wodehouse's funny stories was a bold undertaking, and it produced fantastic results. The series takes place in the early 20th century and is meant to satirize the frivolous life of the upper class. Hugh Laurie stars as Wooster, a flighty and sometimes airheaded socialite, who often gets himself into awful trouble. Thank God he has his faithful butler Jeeves (Stephen Fry) who uses his cunning wit to help Wooster out of the messes. This series produced four seasons, and the first three are priceless. To anyone who enjoys watching BBC comedies, this is definitely one not to pass up. Starring: Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry. Directed by: Robert Young. A-

Jeremiah Johnson (1972) PG western

This agreeable western starring Robert Redford is about the legendary mountain man, Jeremiah Johnson. When the man becomes tired of living in society, he goes west and live alone in the wilderness. There he encounters interesting Caucasian settlers and hostile Native Americans. This is a very interesting, but hardly sensational film that's most likely historically inaccurate. Itís great for western buffs, though. Starring: Robert Redford, Will Geer, Stefan Geirasch, Allyn Ann McLerie, Charles Tyner. Directed by: Sydney Pollack. B

Jerry Maguire (1996) R comedy

This is a great comedy (and among the most enduring of the 1990s) starring Tom Cruise who discovers that there is more to life than making a lot of money as a sportís agent. Unfortunately, that discovery meant that he loses his job and must fight to keep the single client that he managed to maintain. Great performances all around, particularly from Gooding. Starring: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renee Zellweger, Kelly Preston, Jay Mohr, Jerry OíConnell, Bonnie Hunt, Jonathan Lipnicki, Regina King, Beau Bridges. Directed by: Cameron Crowe. A

Jersey Girl (2004) PG-13 comedy

Writer/director Kevin Smith came into the public spotlight when he released his overly offensive (and very funny) independent comedy Clerks. His following four films have been in a similar vein. This is his sixth film, and he aimed for a mild PG-13 rating. It's about a single father (Ben Affleck) who does the best he can to raise his daughter (after his wife tragically died at birth) even though it means giving up his high-profile PR job. Some of this is charming, but I guess when Smith is not being offensive, he isn't funny. Starring: Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Raquel Castro, George Carlin, Jason Biggs, Mike Starr, Stephen Root, Matt Damon, Jason Lee, Will Smith. Directed by: Kevin Smith. C

JFK (1991) R drama

Oliver Stone's infamous conspiracy theory movie about the assassination of America's 35th president is 189 minutes I spent utterly glued to the television set. Kevin Costner stars as a New Orleans district attorney who stretches his jurisdiction limits and investigates the mysterious circumstances surrounding JFK's death. He tries to go after the *real* story much to the dismay of not only those whom he is questioning, but also the American public at large. You might not believe the conspiracy theory itself, but it will certainly engage your senses well enough to make you think deeply about it. This is excellent. Starring: Kevin Costner, Sissy Spacek, Joe Pesci, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Michael Rooker, Jay O. Sanders, Laurie Metcalf, Donald Sutherland, Gary Grubbs, John Candy, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ed Asner, Kevin Bacon, Brian Doyle-Murray, Sally Kirlkand, Breata Pozniak, Vincent D'Onofrio, Tomas Milian, Jim Garrison. Directed by: Oliver Stone. A

Jingle All the Way (1996) PG comedy

Arnold Schwartzenegger stars in this enjoyable comedy about a father who goes to great lengths to get his hands on the Turbo Man action figure for his kid at Christmas. He isn't the only guy out to get this doll; everyone else who was dumb enough to procrastinate until Christmas Eve is after the very same thing. Sinbad is pretty good as a slightly crazed postal worker who is Schwartzenegger's "friendly competition". It could have been more intelligent, but it's a kiddy flick that adults ought to enjoy watching with their kids. Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, James Belushi, Robert Conrad, Martin Mull, Jake Lloyd, Laraine Newman. Directed by: Chris Columbus. B-

Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) PG comedy

A peculiar tale about an ordinary man, played by Tom Hanks, with a job and a life that stinks, who goes to the doctor to find out that he has a "brain cloud." A brain cloud is an inoperable condition that will most certainly result in death and he only has five days to live. Then he is confronted by a wealthy business owner who has an interesting proposition for him: he gets to live the life of a king being given several credit cards for his free use, but he has to jump into a volcano in return. Seeing that he only has a little while to live, Hanks accepts, and he also experiences one thing he never had in life: romance. With Meg Ryan (who plays three separate parts). Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Abe Vigoda, Dan Hedaya, Barry McGovern, Ossie Davis, Amanda Plummer. Directed by: John Patrick Shanley. B-

John Q (2002) PG-13 drama

This film is preachy, but it does make some strong points on social issues involving health care. Denzel Washington stars as a poor factory worker struggling in a poor economy whose son falls desperately ill and is in severe need of a heart transplant. However, Washington, who thought he was fully insured, discovers that he hasn't the coverage to pay for such an operation. Having not been able to make the needed down payment through charitable donations, and the hospital sending his kid home to die, Washington gets angry. He locks down the hospital, holds a number of people ransom, and demands that his son get a heart transplant. It looked stupid, but the film is fairy entertaining. Starring: Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, James Woods, Anne Heche, Eddie Griffin, Kimberly Elise, Shawn Hatosy, Ray Liotta, David Thornton, Ethan Suplee, Kevin Connolly, Paul Johansson, Heather Wahlquist. Directed by: Nick Cassavetes. B

Johnny English (2003) PG comedy

The always-entertaining Rowan Atkinson lights up this low-brow comedy as a dimwitted secret service agent who is out to thwart the evil plans of a French businessman (John Malkovich giving one of the worst French accents that Iíve ever heard) who plans to take over the English throne. Some of the gags are pretty good Ö and Atkinson is very funny. A good film for the easily amused kiddies and adults who need a silly laugh. Starring: Rowan Atkinson, John Malkovich, Natalie Imbruglia, Ben Miller, Douglas McFerran, Tim Pigott-Smith, Kevin Moore, Radha Mitchell, Trevor McDonald. Directed by: Peter Howitt. B-

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2000) NR musical

The popular stage musical from Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber comes to direct-to-video. Fortunately, it keeps the ear-catching, toe-tapping tunes intact in the form of strung together music videos. Itís good for fans of the play, but plenty of expenses were spared to bring this to film. The sets are annoyingly cardboard, the cast has a tendency to overplay their parts and the directing is amateurish. Starring: Donny Osmond, Maria Freidman, Richard Attenborough, Joan Collins, Joan Osborne, Robert Torti, Christopher Biggins, Alex Jennings, Ian McNeice. Directed by: David Mallet and Steven Pimlott. C+

Joshua (2002) G drama

As long as you don't know how it's going to end (which is impossible, considering this is a Christian flick) it might have been decent. This Christian film is well intentioned, but itís too preachy for taste. The script is third-rate, the humor is revoltingly cheesy, and the acting is mediocre. Thou shalt skip this movie. Starring: Tony Goldwyn, Kurt Fuller, Giancarlo Giannini, F. Murray Abraham, Stacy Edwards, Colleen Camp. Directed by: John Purdy. C-

Joy Ride (2001) R thriller

It features an unrealistic script, but it manages to deliver the thrills. A trio of teens play around with a CB radio Ö and pick on the wrong trucker. And they have to try to survive the dudeís evil wrath. You might never see semi-trucks in the same light, again, at any rate! It was masterfully directed by John Dahl. Starring: Paul Walke, Steve Zahn, Leelee, Jessica Bowman, Stuart Stone. Directed by: John Dahl. B+

Judgement at Nuremburg (1961) NR drama

ĎTis a classic drama that depicts the Nuremberg Trials, which put several German judges on trial who worked under the Nazi regime. The time it takes to view this 178 minutes film will hardly be missed! Even though much of this takes place in a courtroom, the edgy and intense cinematography as well as vibrant acting from the entire cast makes this what's among the most exciting films ever made. Spencer Tracy stars as one of the presiding judges. Burt Lancaster is particularly heartwrenching as one of the defendants. Maximilian Schell was completely vibrant as the defender. And Richard Widmark (whom I never have heard of previous to this) was particularly memorable. A highly recommended film! Starring: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Maximilian Schell, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift, Werner Klemperer, Edward Binns, William Shatner, Kenneth MacKenna, Torben Meyer, Ray Teal. Directed by: Stanley Kramer. A+

Jumanji (1995) PG fantasy

Marvelous special effects and an unusual plot is what makes this stand out. Young Alan Parrish finds a neat-looking board game buried underground and takes it home. He starts playing it with a girl who happened to be over and is subsequently "sucked" into the board game. Twenty-six years later, two children find the game and starts playing it. Every time someone rolls, something very dangerous and peculiar happens (killer mosquitoes, the floor turns into quicksand, etc.) An unusual film that makes effective use of Robin Williamsí talent. Starring: Robin Williams, Jonathan Hyde, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, Bonnie Hunt, Bebe Neuwirth, David Alan Grier, Patricia Clarkson, Adam Hann-Byrd, Laura Bell Bundy, James Handy. Directed by: Joe Johnston. B-

Junebug (2005) R drama

A high society art-dealer (Embeth Davidtz) and newly wed visits her husband's (Alessandro Nivola) family for the first time in North Carolina. She quickly learns that he led a starkly different life when he lived with them. Her brother-in-law (Ben McKenzie) is an extreme passive-aggressive personality and his pregnant wife (Amy Adams) is over-enthusiastic. The characters, indeed, embody extreme personality types, but they are well developed. Overall, this is an engaging film though a bit transparent at times. Adams was thought to be the Oscar favorite in this film for supporting actress, but she ultimately lost out to Rachel Weisz. Starring: Amy Adams, Embeth Davidtz, Benjamin McKenzie, Alessandro Nivola, Frank Hoyt Taylor, Celia Weston, Scott Wilson. Directed by: Phil Morrison. B+

Junior (1994) PG-13 comedy

This is a lightly amusing tale starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a pregnant man. Unbelievable, but Arnold is fun to watch! Itíll probably entertain you for approximately two hours, but it wonít make you want to buy the DVD. Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Emma Thompson, Frank Langella, Pamela Reed, Judy Collins, James Eckhouse, Aida Turturro, Mindy Seeger, Monika Schnarre, Judy Ovitz. Directed by: Ivan Reitman. C+

The Jungle Book (1994) PG adventure

A live adaptation of Rudyard Kiplingís book is well made and features an excellent cast. However, some of the script seemed a bit corny and unnatural. It's a good pick for children. The animals are cute and fun to watch. Starring: Jason Scott Lee, Cary Elwes, Lena Headley, Sam Neill, John Cleese, Jason Flemyng, Stefan Kalipha, Ron Donachie, Anirudh Agrawal, Faran Tahir, Sean Naegeli. Directed by: Stephen Sommers. B

Jurassic Park (1993) PG-13 thriller

Steven Speilberg directs this exciting film adaptation of Michael Crichtonís novel. When an eccentric man's dream to clone dinosaurs come to reality, he turns it into a theme park. He brings in paleontologists Sam Neil and Laura Dern in hopes theyíll give it their seal of approval. However, things donít exactly happen the way as planned. This is an exhilarating and enjoyable film thatís ridden with wonderful dino-violence! Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, B.D. Wong, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards. Directed by: Steven Speilberg. A-

Jurassic Park III (2001) PG-13 thriller

The second sequel to the 1993 blockbuster, proves to be nothing great. Sam Neill returns to the dino-ridden island to find a lost young boy who accidentally became stranded on that island is still alive. Of course, they have difficulties remaining alive, too! The film relies too heavily on cheap thrills and it lacks the sense of adventure that made the original so wonderful. Starring: Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Tea Leoni, Alessandro Nivola, Trevor Morgan, Michael Jeter, John Diehl, Bruce A. Young, Laura Dern, Taylor Nichols, Mark Harelik, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Blake Bryan. Directed by: Joe Johnston. C+

Jury Duty (1995) PG-13 comedy

Pauly Shore stupidly takes on 12 Angry Men. Shore receives a letter in the to discover that heís being summoned for jury duty. However, Shore doesn't think this is quite the pits; his mom and dad left for Vegas in their trailer home leaving him stranded alone with no place to go. So, he gleefully takes the jury job for the free hotel rooms and food. In order to get these things for an extended period of time, he remains undecided much to the dismay of the other jury members. The end was even worse than Shoreís acting abilities. Starring: Pauly Shore, Tia Carrere, Shelley Winters, Brian Doyle-Murray, Abe Vigoda, Stanley Tucci, Charles Napier, Andrew Dice Clay. Directed by: John Fortenberry. D+

Just Like Heaven (2005) PG-13 romantic comedy

Reese Witherspoon stars in this thin but endearing romantic comedy as a woman trapped in a coma whose ghostly manifestation visits and falls in love with the temporary tenant of her apartment (Mark Ruffalo). Itís only mildly funny and the premise has been done before, but itís sweet and entertaining. Jon Heder turns in a notable performance as a spaced out spirit-book dealer. Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, Jon Heder, Donal Logue, Dina Waters, Ben Shenkman, Ivana Milicevic. Directed by: Mark S. Waters. B-

Just Married (2003) PG-13 romantic comedy

A routine romantic comedy finds the two leads (Brittany Murphy and Ashton Kutcher) on the honeymoon of Hell. The script is remarkably witless, but the surprising chemistry between the two leads makes this watchable Ö even though neither really turn in a very good performance. Itís odd, I know, but true. Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Brittany Murphy, Christian Kane, David Moscow, Money Mazur, David Rasche, Thad Luckinbill, David Agranov. Directed by: Shawn Levy. C

Just My Luck (2006) PG-13 comedy

Lindsay Lohan stars as a high-profile event planner named Ashley who always seems to be lucky. Jake (Chris Pine) co-stars as an extraordinarily unlucky fellow. One day at a party, the two exchange a kiss, and the tables are turned. Jake enjoys his newfound luck promoting a horrible pop band, and Ashley tries to figure out who stole her luck. For some reason, the screenwriters spent the final 10 minutes trying to convince their audience that luck doesn't matter, which negated the entire premise. I groan most profusely. Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Chris Pine, Samaire Armstrong, Bree Turner, Faizon Love, Missi Pyle, Carlos Ponce. Directed by: Donald Petrie. D


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